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Tricia Butler of Sassafras Catering demonstrates how to make faboulous tomato pie, a Southern tradition.
Tags:How to Make Southern Tomato Pie,cooking up a story,cookingupastory,pastries,pie,pie off,pies,Southern cooking,tomato,tomato pie,tomato pie recipe
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Tricia Butler: Bringing the people behind our food to life. Tomato pie is a southern recipe its actually a recipe that’s been in my family for all my life, so first we started with onions. These are Walla Walla sweet onions and I usually just chop them up in smaller pieces to caramelize them. Once there caramelized still we added to the top of the tomato pie, so I would like to start this first just because takes little longer to do. Traditionally southern tomato pie is actually been its served with fresh sea foods shrimp is a great companion to it and as well as grab, oil grab any type of sea food so that’s about cup in half of onions and now we’re going to caramelize them.
I have my butter melting here, I used about two table spoons and when I make enough onions for two pies, so what we can do is just keep this at medium well and it takes about 30 minutes for the onions to caramelize. We don’t want to burn in; we just want to let them break down let the sugar is break down in the onion gives that sweet flavor.
So these will take a little while what I’m going do is actually start on the tomatoes and I have the tomatoes here. I also have some water that’s almost to boil what I’m going do actually is take tomato and make a criss cross right on the bottom with the knife, so that the peeling will be much easier and I’ll just place that right in the hot bag. It soon or just made us right here and we want -- don’t want them to stake to long in the water. We want them to heat up just a minute but we don’t want them to cook, so you leave him that’s 10, 15, 20 seconds may be or just heats the outside so that the peel comes off little easier and there done.
Oh and there heavy, very large it is nice and you can almost see those peels already coming off, so we’ll take this back to the table and peel in. Now that they’ve had the hot water bag and what I do is actually peel the tomatoes and sometimes I just cut that edges off is well. Make sure that they cool down just a little bit because this can be a little bit painful if they’re too hard so what we were going after is the need of the tomato. I got these tomatoes at the farmers market and I happened to be going buy their yesterday decided to check in and they had some gorges earlier to made us, so I decided to pick some up. Now that our tomato is a peel we can do little bit drainy and I usually just get some strainers and have a pan under need them and also cut up tomatoes just a bit and I’d like to get on cut flats so I can put it him on even surface to cut, get them these chunks and then I just put him strainers and you want to strain him for about 30 minutes may be 20 and just to get some of this juices out.
Squeeze out a lot of the juices in the tomatoes because the piecrust at the bottom becomes a little bit soggy if we don’t so want to get them in somewhat bite side’s chunks that way people can eat the pie without pulling a full slice of tomato out of the pie. I even squeeze them just a little bit when I put it in the stainer to get some more of the juice out; you just want to need of the tomato.
One thing I like about tomato pie is that at the end of the season if you’re happened to grow to made those in your garden, that lot of times you get quite of you made us at the end of the summer and if you like canning him that’s a really good way to preserve them and some people like to do that one of those that doesn’t know whole lot about canning but and these pies freeze really well, so that’s another way to preserve them throughout the winter. Now we’re going to make the cheese filling, here I had some shredded medium cheddar cheese and you can either buy a shredded or you can shredded yourself that is a cup and half of the shredded cheese. I also add a half a cup of mayo to that for the filling. In addition to that and add some fresh packed pepper we just ground this earlier just probably about quarter teaspoon, just a little bit and this is easily mixed up but I tend to use my hands because really I don’t measure this a lot of the time, I like to go by consistency so when you mixed with your hands you wanted to be little bit made easy and thinking it my need just a little bit more cheese so we’ll say about two cups.
And what the mayonnaise its going to do actually to the cheese is make a just a little fluffy. And you just wanted to be able to hold the cheese together and now you have your have your cheese filling already to go. Looks like our onions are perfect they broken down nicely so we just going to ahead and take them back.
So the next step we’re first going to par-bake the crust a little bit about 10 minutes and 425 degree oven what this does is a clarifies the crust in the beginning in order to make it little big crunchy or crispy, so now we are going to symbol the pie and basically what we do is we fill the pie crust with the tomato’s that have been draining, just want to spread out an even layer of the tomatoes on the bottom start their and then we add basil, dried vessel it holds up a little bit better than a fresh basil in the oven. I really just -- this, I just sprinkle little bit on we do a little bit of natural raw sugar, I can said just sprinkle little bit on do a little cracked pepper and then add a little bit of salt. That just gives the tomatoes little flavor and then what will do is finish up with rest of the tomatoes on top of that, you can use multiple colors of tomatoes at always as beautiful cutting into it.
The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it your own, you can use all different types of herbs, spices, cheeses it will be fried try things out, okay so that’s enough to made those, the next step is I’m actually going to add just a little bit more of the basil, sugar, salt and pepper. I’m just saying a little bit here just give a one more flavor, all right. So the next step is to actually take our cheese mixture and spread that over the top. Intend to use my fingers with this because you can spread it out a little bit better will flatter. One thing I like to do is to kind of keep some of the tomatoes visible, it’s a nice contrast to the cheese mixture.
The next step is to use a little bit of seizing I have my own bland that I use mayonnaise made with just some herbs and think there some dried carrot, some dried garlic and if you like garlic this is a great time to put on some, you can do roasted garlic, you can do dried garlic, you can even do fresh garlic and so I just have my own little seasoning plan and know certain focus mayon actually do rosemary there is herbs to -- really good so its very you sort to make your own flavor, okay now that’s done we’ll add the caramelized onions, don’t skip on the skimp on the onions less not in onion pan because they intend to be one of the best parts they really give it a good sweetness.
So this is going into the oven for about 30 minutes at 3.50 its really want to do is just cooked down that’s made us a little bit make sure the cheese melts and then once we were done we usually put a little sprinkle basil on top as a garnish and but other ways were finished with pie.